back to article Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU

EU telecoms providers must cut surcharges for 'roaming' phone calls and data use in EU countries from 30 April, in preparation for the complete abolition of roaming charges in June 2017. Until June 2017, telecoms providers will be allowed to charge up to five cents per minute on top of domestic prices, and up to two cents per …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge

    Roaming - just don't care

    Not bothered about roaming. Can we just do something about calls from one mobile network to another? Costs far more to the average person and difficult to avoid.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Roaming - just don't care

      As far as I'm aware, in the UK, calls from a mobile to a 'standard' landline and other mobile networks are the same. (Having said that, I'm on a contract with a fixed number of minutes a month.) I know that some mobile networks offer discounted or 'free' minutes for calls on PAYG within their own network.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Roaming - just don't care

        Nope, I have unlimited calls to landline. Lots of £££s to other mobiles.O2 business contract

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Roaming - just don't care

          O2 business contract

          The exact reason why I am no longer with O2 (taking all 5 accounts in the family with me in the process). Vodafone bills all calls to other UK operators in-bundle.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Roaming - just don't care

          @AMBxx "Nope, I have unlimited calls to landline. Lots of £££s to other mobiles.O2 business contract"

          Move provider, if the answer is "I can't I'm in the middle of a contract", buyer beware, check the details before parting with your money.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      @AMBxx Re: Roaming - just don't care

      Sounds like you're on a really naff O2 tariff. On our O2 business contract, cross-net mobile calls are the same as O2<>O2 mobile calls and are included in our bundled minutes.

      Are you sure you're not calling any 07 personal numbers? These do cost an arm and a leg and usually aren't included in any bundles.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody EU!

    Bloody EU! Abolishing expensive roaming charges, safeguarding Net Neutrality!

    Vote Leave, so we can pay more money to our corporate overlords and be free of this endless bureaucracy! ;)

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Bloody EU!

      FIVE YEARS after they said they would, TEN YEARS after it was obvious it was a problem and people were complaining about it.

      I'm neither pro- nor anti-EU, we get a lot of things but we give a lot of things too. But, to be honest, there's no reason it couldn't have happened instantly several years ago. Everyone I know from the EU who travels back and forth has ended up carrying two entire phones everywhere they go because it's just easier than faffing about with changing SIMs, missing phone calls, roaming charges and STILL STUPENDOUS data roaming charges.

      Given that my girlfriend's Italian, and ALL her international friends do this, and they all use WhatsApp because text prices can still be stupendous, and there's no way that international calling cards or anything like that have brought it near sensible prices for her (the advertised prices are all well and good, but the hidden extras - including having to know if you're phoning a mobile or not - mean you don't actually save much at all), and that she still carries two phones - one Italian and one UK - each with their own contract, and that's CHEAPER than using either one of them in the other country, and she has to remember to switch data off on whatever one isn't local too, it's too little, too late.

      Just stop this junk, turn it off, force the companies to charge relevant pricing rather than madey-uppey-numbers. But roaming will still be around next year, and data roaming will take forever to disappear. So, again, most people will actually still be carrying two phones or a dual-SIM phone (hard to find in stores or "officially" supported) for many years to come.

      Which is baffling to me as most of our mobile networks are foreign-owned.

      1. Natalie Gritpants

        Re: Bloody EU!

        Sorry, lost all ability to concentrate at Italian girlfriend

        1. dbayly

          Re: Bloody EU!

          Won't that be illegal after Brexit?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bloody EU!

        @Lee D, yes took a long time, but outside Europe we would not be able to do anything, regardless of time.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Bloody EU!

          Outside Europe? If people vote Brexit will wind turbines down the East Cost propel the UK to another continent?

          Anyway, 3's already done it so I'm not sure that being inside Europe is strictly necessary.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Bloody EU!


      About time they had a reason for us to stay. Now if they can just make some more to try and balance the desire to leave and they wont need to rely on a BS campaign to convince us to stay.

  3. Jess

    That will be why my VOIP suddenly works over my mobile data

    At least for a couple of months, until England votes to leave the EU. :(

    1. ravenviz

      Re: That will be why my VOIP suddenly works over my mobile data

      I didn't know the referendum was only for England!

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: That will be why my VOIP suddenly works over my mobile data

        I didn't know the referendum was only for England!

        The leave campaign seems to be pretty overwhelmingly so,

      2. 8Ace

        I didn't know the referendum was only for England!

        .. if only it was !

      3. MR J

        Re: That will be why my VOIP suddenly works over my mobile data

        OHHH, If so that rocks...

        Time to bring out the T-Mobile sim with 6MonthWeb again!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That will be why my VOIP suddenly works over my mobile data

      And the roaming charges will be back with a vengance!

      Watch out parts of Kent! Your phone calls will get expensive again as they are routed via SFR.

      and just in time for the tatoo'd hoardes to head for the Costa whatsit for the summer hols and get a few shocks with their phone bills when they return home.

      So which way to vote next month, that is the question?

      Must rush, got a ferry to frogland to catch. 2nd home near Le Mans to enjoy while I can.

  4. censored

    I've never understood roaming anyway...

    The operators are multinational.

    Why does a Vodafone customer have to pay a fortune to roam onto Vodafone in another country, when the operators claim it's because of high connection costs charged by the roaming operator? Basically, Vodafone were charging Vodafone for the privilege of a Vodafone customer using Vodafone.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: I've never understood roaming anyway...

      "Why does a Vodafone customer have to pay a fortune to roam onto Vodafone in another country,"

      Why would they not as long as it's possible.

      "The operators are multinational." Big Pharma is too, still Americans pay more for their pills.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I've never understood roaming anyway...

      Prices are not so much defined by supply and demand as by what the customer is prepared to pay, aka what you can get away with.

  5. MR J

    The laughable thing about this now, is that customers (in the UK at least) can pay more using a UK carrier making local calls/text or using Data, than they would pay if they took the phone to another country!

    I cant help but think that it might be time to start importing EU SIM cards for PAYG so we can see the benefit.

    I took my Three sim with me to the US last year, people were amazed at how little I paid to use the phone for the few weeks I was there.

    If this makes VoIP work from all carriers too then these rules will be welcomed, and I will hate to see them go when the UK leaves Europe.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a warning, this refers to EU and not Europe in general.

    My French operator, SFR, will now charge me 0,06€/min for calls made from other EU countries, but 1,32€/min if I'm on a Swiss network, with similar fees for non-EU "eastern bloc" countries. Pays to check what you network you've roamed onto if you're near a border.

    Now we'll just have to see what they increase to make up for the lost revenues.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm on SFR.

      All you can eat fixed and mobile voice and texts including international calls and 20Gbytes a month data.

      This includes when roaming in Europe and N. America. So no surprises and no need to watch your calls or data when abroad. (At least in the covered countries.)

      €70 a month including DSL too.

      I forego a mobile and buy my own.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I gave up on SFR DSL when they spent 2 months fobbing me off with "technical problem" excuses, and then finally cancelled the order on the grounds that my line wasn't suitable, despite it having been suitable for Free for the previous 3 years. Orange had it up and running (twice as fast as SFR had offered) within half a day. I don't use a mobile enough to be worth the all-you-can eat tariffs that include international calls, my €15/month contract works just fine.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU roaming cheaper my Ar$e

    Charges for PAYG customers on Tesco Mobile in Ireland have actually increased as they cannot use their allowances. Gone from 23c calls and 7c text to 30c calls and 14c text. Those on Bill Pay (monthly) have a Fair Use Policy of 30mins/30text/30Mb per monthly billing cycle. How generous....

    So while TM Ireland put up their customers roaming charges, TM UK basically abolished them until Sept at least. Criminal. Every little helps.... Kerchin...

  8. LateAgain

    The operators are NOT multinational. They are very careful about that.

    A separate company is set up in each country.

    1. Arctic fox

      @LateAgain "The operators are NOT multinational. They are very careful about that."

      "A separate company is set up in each country."

      Indeed, they follow the model that the Corporate tax evaders planners are careful to use.

    2. CJ_C

      But vodaphone avoided charge in the UK on the basis of loss abroad so not much distinction between the UK entity and the other bits.

  9. andy 28

    crown dependencies

    Wonder if this will cover crown dependencies like Isle of Man and Channel Islands. About to go to IoM and get fleeced by Manx Telecom or Sure for using UK sim.

    It's not roaming very far when you can see the country your sim is from (on a good day obviously. Not when Manannan's Cloak has descended)

  10. CJ_C

    PaYG Data

    I just wish there was a pay as you go deal where data allowance does not get set to zero at the end of a month whether I used it or not. Instead I stick with the best day data rate and almost never use it, unless I want to check a bus time or whatever and there is no paper timetable at the bus stop. I am of course a dinosaur, spending less than £5 a month unless I do something stupid like leaving data on so the sort of customer that no provider is really interested in.

  11. jonmorris

    Three Feel (a bit like) at Home (where you have a bad signal)

    What do these rules mean for Three, which openly admits to throttling services like video streaming - and claims that Feel at Home is a proposition for holiday makers? Three said recently that it might consider offering unrestricted data at a higher cost? Would that get around the rules?

    Anyone on Three can run the nPerf benchmark app (Android and iOS) and see if streaming works, and I bet it won't.

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